Grayed names are confusing

(NomNuggetNom ) #1

I noticed people with grayed out names here on meta:

And I had no idea what it meant. I thought maybe it wasn’t their full name, or something. I actually had to look into the CSS to realize it symbolized they were new users. There’s no indication of that anywhere, except on the profile where their trust level shows as “new user.”

I’m not sure what the best solution is to this, but I was definitely confused by the name color, so I think something needs to be changed.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Good point, not sure what to show here since I don’t consider that state so important it needs to be listed on the user card all the time, and we have limited space there.

My only idea is to put “new” on the user card, next to the name, only for new users. Sort of how mods have a shield there…

Edit: wait a sec, you see “joined: 9 hours ago” so there is a de facto new indicator there!

(cpradio) #3

Does the graying of the name show for everyone or just staff? I’m wondering if everyone in the community really cares if a person is new or not… I’m also wondering as staff, if I really care too… (especially since I have the admin / new page to look at)


A quick test by opening my own site in a private window (which makes it like I’m not logged in at all unless I log in in that window) shows that the graying is for everyone.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

You definitely do, as new users are much more likely to do something off-color or run afoul of the rules.

A new user, as defined by Discourse, is someone who hasn’t really spent any time reading any topics on the site, at least not as a logged in account.

(Kane York) #6

Yep, everyone. It’s pretty useful on Meta, as an indicator of whether or not someone searched existing topics before opening their own support topic.

(cpradio) #7

New doesn’t mean anything to me in that situation. If they are running off-color, I’ll deal with it regardless of how long they’ve been a member. I feel like it is tagging a user, much like tagging a suspended user was “frowned” on, I’m not sure why you’d want to tag a new user (or place a target on them).

See that’s exactly the assumption that I’d hate for everyone to assume. You’ve already made your mind on a person just because their name is greyed. It is placing them in a very unwelcoming situation.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

So you have complete trust in every stranger that shows up on your doorstep?

The statistics tell me that new users are the most likely to make mistakes. This could work in either direction @cpradio, either you can put on your kid gloves, or you can gear up for battle. I was mostly referring to kid gloves, as in “oh, this user doesn’t really know how we do things around here yet”.

(cpradio) #9

No, I really don’t care who they are until they do something wrong. Warning me ahead of time forces me to make a presumption, either throw them in with the group of bad that we’ve come across prior to their arrival (this is a bad mindset to get into) or don’t tag them so you have no presumption as to who they are (until they make a mistake and you take a look at their account).

Let’s face it, no one remembers they had 200 good users recently sign up, no, they remember the 12 that were bad. By tagging these individuals you are effectively placing the community on guard about these members. Why are they special with a greyed out name? Oh, they are new, let’s stalk them to see when and how they make a mistake. Let’s treat them differently. etc.

ping @jasmine and @hawk, you’re more of a CM than I am, what are your thoughts?

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Hang around and enjoy the grey-named gamergaters who show up on any GG related topic. There are analogs for many other trigger topics, too.

Being new is just information, could be good, could be bad. But it’s definitely significant, in the same way that you don’t treat a stranger on your doorstep the same as you do your significant other, friends, or acquaintances.

(cpradio) #11

Sure, I don’t doubt that from a staff level, but I don’t need to see it every day. I have a list I can refer to, I have their user card, I have all I need.

I have no idea why the common community needs to be worried about someone new. It isn’t their concern. The point is, we’re drawing attention to people, giving them special preference, and that is going to illicit some sort of assumption (as proven previously with how it is used here).

You will make assumptions about the person and that can lead to making them feel unwelcomed, the entire antithesis that a community/forum platform should be aiming for.


Perhaps not what you want to hear, but I think it’s important. Discourse is pretty confusing to someone that hasn’t seen it before and is used to other platforms, so if I see someone doing something out of the ordinary, I’d like to know that it’s possibly because they’re feeling confused. As the OP states, the light grey name isn’t exactly putting it up in lights – seems like a subtle front end indicator which might occasionally be of use.

(cpradio) #13

I’m more than willing to be shown wrong, I just find it odd that everyone sees it. Figured it would be better suited for only staff (and we already have that knowledge…)

(Kane York) #14


(Jeff Atwood) #15

Maybe the assumption is when you see a stranger, you welcome them to the neighborhood and greet them and treat them extra nice?

Like I said, it is just information. And it is significant, important information. What you do with it is up to you.

(cpradio) #16

In a perfect world, I’d agree with you. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening very often.

I’ll likely create a custom stylesheet to remove it. It doesn’t show me anything I can’t already find out by making 1 click. So to me, it is a visual distraction.

(Mittineague) #17

I don’t see why a non-Staff member would be all that interested in another members Trust Level being New.

Isn’t this introducing more “noise” ?

(Sam Saffron) #18

not exactly the same, I think maybe we should add a bronze “TL0” badge that we give to all users that way we can always show it on the card.

(Mittineague) #19

Maybe call it “Welcome”?

(Sam Saffron) #20

Yeah and it can teach users about TL0, I think that would be awesome, TL0 does generate some support.